Quitting smoking isn’t easy. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. But it’s not impossible! Here at Quit Smoking Community, our entire purpose is to help people learn how to quit smoking once and for all. We have a few different sections on our website, but the one that we spent the most time on was the “How to Quit Smoking” section. We have over 20 articles all aimed to help you put down the pack forever.
Whether you want to learn how to handle the intense nicotine cravings or about various tools you can use to help you remain smoke-free, this section is for you.
Quit Smoking Guide:
The experts agree on one thing: quitting smoking is always a great idea, and there are no reasons you shouldn’t do it. But what experts don’t agree on is the exact right way to quit smoking. In truth, there is not only one right way to quit smoking that applies to everyone, and you need to find the right way for you. Here are some of the possible methods and how you might choose the one that’s right for you.
The organized plan. Are you the kind of person who lives their life by the calendar on your smartphone or computer, with appointments and plans mapped down to the minute? If so, you might want to consider taking a similar approach to quitting smoking. Things you might do with this method include planning a definite quit date, throwing out all of your cigarettes and ashtrays, and making contingency plans for how you’ll cope when cravings strike.
The heavy smoker’s step-down. You aren’t just a casual smoker who lights up after a night at the bar. You’ve been smoking since you were a teenager and smoke at least a pack a day, and you have your first cigarette of the day within just a couple minutes after waking up. You’re seriously hooked on nicotine, so you’re going to have a little harder time to completely wean off of it. Some of the nicotine-replacement programs like the nicotine patch or nicotine gum might be good choices for you since they allow you to begin with a higher dose of nicotine replacement and gradually taper down.
Anxiety management. Smoking is a comfort habit for a lot of people and is a way that many people self-medicate to deal with anxiety and stress. Giving up that familiar habit can cause a lot of nervousness and distress for some people, so it’s important to incorporate anxiety management techniques into your plan to quit. In addition to establishing good habits like journaling, meditation or prayer, you may want to ask your doctor for medications like Zyban or Chantix to help manage the cravings. Reducing the cravings might also reduce your anxiety about quitting.
Sheer willpower. When you make up your mind about something, you put all of your efforts into it and you make sure that you don’t fail. If you’ve decided that you want to quit smoking, your determination will ensure that you succeed no matter what you choose. The cold-turkey method could work well for you. Limiting yourself to a fewer number of cigarettes per day until you’re finally down to zero could also be effective if you’re good at holding yourself accountable.
The holistic alternatives. You’d rather look for options at the health food store instead of at a medical doctor’s office. There is a long list of alternative therapies that could help you with quitting smoking. Consider seeing a hypnotherapist to help you break the psychological habits associated with smoking. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can be helpful in restoring energy balance and reducing cravings to smoke.
Cutting edge technology. Science and industry are always working together to come up with new treatments to help people live healthier lives, including quitting smoking. One new technology uses low-energy laser beams at certain points on the body, which can be very effective to reduce nicotine cravings.
Cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of talk therapy helps you to take control of your thoughts and actions by changing your thought processes and patterns. A trained therapist teaches you these techniques to stop unproductive thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you break down something big and overwhelming like quitting smoking into smaller actions that feel much more manageable and therefore you feel like you have more control over the process.
Herbal supplements. Some studies out of the United Kingdom suggest that certain herbal supplements may be helpful in quitting smoking. The herbs that may help reduce nicotine cravings and anxiety include valerian, motherwort, and St. John’s Wort.
Self-help books. Millions of people before you have attempted to quit smoking and many have written self-help books about how they successfully quit. One of the most famous books about quitting smoking is Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, but there are also many other helpful books on the subject, including e-books.
Make your own combination. One of the best things about having so many possible options available to help you quit smoking is that you can pick and choose which ones will work for you. This allows you to design your own plan using as many of these methods as you want and customize it just for you.
There’s no one right way to quit smoking, there are lots of them. Which ones do you think would work best for you?
Quitting Cold Turkey
Quitting smoking cold turkey is one of the best ways to do it. When you simply stop smoking, you avoid all of the pitfalls of tools like medications, patches and nicotine gum. The cold turkey method of quitting smoking embodies the “Band-Aid Approach” to quitting, just ripping away the cigarettes and dealing with the pain to get it done as fast as possible and with no complications.
If this method appeals to you and you want to quit smoking cold turkey, than be sure to check out our complete guide:
Quitting Cold Turkey: The Ultimate Guide READ MORE>
Quitting With Some Help
Some smokers don’t want to deal with the intensity of quitting cold turkey and would rather use one of the many tools on the market to help with the process. And thankfully for them, there are a plethora of tools out there that can help ease the pain of quitting smoking. Some are great and others aren’t so great, but our ‘Quit Smoking Tools’ section covers them all. Whether you are thinking about using the patch, nicotine gum, electronic cigarettes, Chantix, or something else, this section has you covered. Check it out:
Smoking Cessation Tools READ MORE>
Dealing With Nicotine Withdrawal
Whether you choose to quit cold turkey or use one of the quit smoking aids, you will at some point have to deal with the effects of nicotine withdrawal. If you go cold turkey, you will face the cravings and other withdrawal effects sooner. If you use a smoking cessation aid, than you will (ideally) end up weaning yourself off to make the cravings less intense. But regardless, you will have to deal with them at some juncture.
Because of the difficulty of nicotine withdrawal, we have three different guides. The first is a guide to understanding what happens when you quit smoking in terms of withdrawal symptoms. Read this one before your quit date to learn about the coming storm and prepare yourself for it. Read it here:
What Happens When You Quit Smoking? READ MORE>
The second article is a look at the nicotine withdrawal timeline. It is a timeline of withdrawal effects along with tips for getting through the various stages. Read this before you start and also during to help remind yourself that the withdrawal and cravings do end, and sooner than you think. Check it out:
Nicotine Withdrawal Timeline READ MORE>
Finally, we have our complete guide to beating nicotine withdrawal. It’s a guide full of useful tips to beating the withdrawal effects talked about in the first two articles. This guide is perfect to read over during the quitting process. If you’re struggling with the cravings or emotional roller coaster of quitting, read this guide and try applying some of the tips to help ease the discomfort. It can be found here:
Guide to Beating Nicotine Withdrawal READ MORE>
Quit Smoking Tips and Tricks
After you learn about the basics of nicotine withdrawal and the tools that can help you beat it, it’s time to hone in on other aspects of quitting smoking. We look at aspects of quitting like breaking old habits, setting a quit date, curing the oral fixation, not gaining weight and so much more.
Note: We are currently renovating our “Tips and Tricks” section and it is currently unavailable. Be sure to check out our blog if you’re looking for some motivation!
How to Quit Smoking – Other Resources
The previous sections deal with the big topics, but we have created other resources to give you the motivation and information you need on your quit smoking journey.
While many of our quit smoking guides are fact-based, our “The Best Way to Quit Smoking” article is simply a motivational tool to help you get started with the quitting process. There is no “right way” to quit smoking, all that matters is that you start the process. Read it here:
If you are sick of the guides, tips and motivation, you can check out our article about nicotine addiction. This article is purely informational to help you learn more about how nicotine addiction works. Check it out:
How Nicotine Addiction Works READ MORE>
Don’t Quite All At Once
It’s tempting to go cold turkey, but this is by far the hardest way to try to quit. When most people think about quitting, especially for the first time, they believe that their willpower is so strong that they will be able to just make themselves quit and never look back. But addiction never lets you off that easily. If you try to quit smoking entirely, then you likely won’t have much success.
Instead, try to wean yourself off of the smoking gradually. Use patches, cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day and just cut back your nicotine intake in general. As you reduce the nicotine levels in your body, it will become easier and easier to finally quit for good.
You have to know why you are quitting; otherwise you will just revert back to using your cigarettes as a crutch. You have to stick to a reason for quitting and make that the central part of your efforts. Whether you are quitting for your health, for your wallet or for your family, you need to make that motivation ever present.
Constantly remind yourself of why you are quitting and give yourself the motivation you need to persevere. If you are quitting for your health, you can bookmark sites that tell horror stories of people who died from their smoking. Visit the sites every day. If you are quitting for your family, stick their picture in your car, by your bedside and anywhere you might be tempted to smoke. When you think about smoking, just look at your motivation and find encouragement.
Don’t Try It Alone
Quitting smoking is hard. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can conquer it on your own. Most of the people who have no emotional support structure to fall back on or to hold them up fail when they try to quit. As mentioned above, your own willpower likely won’t be enough to push you across the finish line.
Instead, tell your friends, family and loved ones about what you are trying to do. Ask them to assist you in quitting by monitoring you, keeping you away from opportunities to smoke and being available for you to talk to them about what you are going through.
You may also want to consider a group therapy method. Try to find others who are attempting to quit their smoking and gain support from them. This can help you to be able to share your experiences with others who are going through similar struggles.
Handle Your Stress
When you try to quit smoking, one of the worst side effects you will likely experience is that of stress. The nicotine creates stress in your body and then requires that you use more nicotine to calm that stress. So you will need to find suitable outlets for your stress and attempt to soothe it.
Many people listen to relaxing music, meditate, have massages, play video games or engage in sports. Some of these release dopamine into the brain to satiate the pleasure centers, relieving the stress. The rest of these activities help to reduce the chemicals that create stress and return the body to its normal chemical balance.
Remove the Triggers and Reminders of Smoking
When you try to quit smoking, you may find that it is very difficult to do so when you are around the places you normally smoke. Your house and vehicle probably smell heavily of smoke. That smell is going to remind you of what you are missing, and it will definitely help to get rid of those reminders.
You can do so by cleaning your house and vehicle thoroughly. You want to use odor neutralizers to get rid of the scent and upholstery cleaners to get the chemicals out of the leather and cloth materials.
Once you have chased the smell away, it will be much easier to resist the siren call of nicotine.